Archive for June, 2013

Blueberries are HERE!

One of our favorite summer time fruits is now in season!  I can’t believe how early all of our fruit is this year!  We are definitely lucky that the sun keeps shining!

Join us this summer for Happy Hour at the Farm!

Just drop in for a sip, enjoy our patio & garden setting while you “wine” down your day. Featuring Local Wines, Beer, and Small Plates made from our locally grown produce!

Happy Hour at the Farm kicks off Thursday July 4th! Come into town for the St. Paul Rodeo and swing by the Farm to get your night started right! Special July 4th Hours are 12pm-7pm!

Storage Tip of the Week:
Freezing Sugar Snap Peas without Blanching

The best way to preserve fresh peas is by blanching and freezing them. Blanching — immersing the peas in boiling water for two minutes, then cooling them immediately in ice water — removes dirt and bacteria and preserves the peas’ flavor and nutrition. If, however, you find yourself with a bountiful harvest of fresh peas and no time to blanch, you can freeze fresh peas without blanching them first. You should use unblanched frozen peas within four to six weeks of freezing; they lose color, flavor and nutrition the longer they are stored.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_7804870_freeze-fresh-peas-blanching.html#ixzz2XGSZyDbk

Balsamic Strawberry Pork

1 (3-lb.) package pork tenderloins
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
10 bacon slices
1/2lb thin green beans
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, divided
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup quartered fresh strawberries

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to 400° to 500° (high) heat. Sprinkle pork with pepper and 1 tsp. salt; wrap 5 bacon slices around each tenderloin, and secure with wooden picks.
2. Place green beans, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in center of a 24- x 18-inch piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; toss to coat. Bring up sides of foil over beans; double fold top and side edges to seal, making a packet.
3. Turn off one side of grill. Arrange pork and foil packet over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mince remaining 2 garlic cloves; sauté in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Add vinegar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in preserves. Reserve half of mixture for basting. Stir fresh strawberries into remaining mixture.
5. Remove foil packet from grill; transfer pork to lit side. Baste pork with reserved strawberry mixture. Grill 5 more minutes over lit side, turning once. Remove pork from grill; Slice tenderloin, and serve with strawberry mixture and green beans.

Recipe & Photo courtesy of myrecipes.com.

Seared Sugar Snap Peas Recipe

  • INGREDIENTS
  • Olive oil
  •  sugar snap peas
  • Scallions or green onions
  • Salt
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Zest of a lemon
  • chopped fresh mint
  • Black pepper & Lemon juice

For the rest of the Recipe and directions visit Elise Bauer’s Website at: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/seared_sugar_snap_peas/

Spinach Blueberry Smoothie
1-2 cups of spinach
1 cup of  blueberries
3 ice cubes
1 Tablespoon of almond or cashew butter
1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2-1 cup of  coconut milk

Cooking Steps

Blend it all together and ENJOY!!

Photo & Recipe Courtesy of FastPaleo.com.

Have a great rest of your week!  And if any of you have any recipes they would like to share, go ahead and send them in to be posted on our blog!

Until next week!  ~Farmer Stacy

 

June Grilling in the Garden is Tomorrow Evening

Our June Grilling in the Garden Dinner is our second dinner of the 2013 season.  We have a great menu prepared for tomorrow evening.  There are lots of delicious fruits and veggies that are finally starting to ripen and we are going to showcase a few of them at the dinner. Our June Menu is: Strawberry and Snap Pea Salad mixed with a Honey Dijon Vinaigrette.  Balsamic Strawberry Pork Roast with roasted beets, carrots, onions and Italian kale. For dessert, fresh Strawberry Blackberry Cobbler topped with Ice Cream.  Call today to make your reservations.  Reservations and pre-payment are required for our Grilling in the Garden Dinner Series, and gratuity along with beer and wine are an extra cost.

This week fresh out of the fields we have two varieties of Shell (English) Peas one called Mr. Big and the other a smaller variety called Knight.  They both have great flavor and are easy to shell. For those of you looking for a quick way to Shell peas click on the video below for our storage tip of the week!

I found a great recipe idea for these Shell Peas on simplyrecipes.com!

Grilled English Peas

Fresh English or shell peas, in their pods
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
A few fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (optional)

 

For the rest of the Recipe and directions visit Elise Bauer’s Website at: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/grilled_english_peas/


I also found a great blog post on the Balanced Bites Blog on 15 delicious Lettuce Wrap Ideas, which can be found here http://balancedbites.com/2011/05/15-delicious-lettuce-wrap-ideas.html.  The recipe that I used was Beef, Avocado, Shallot & Lime Wraps.  Recipe and Photo courtesy BalancedBites.com.  She also has an amazing Buffalo Chicken Wrap Recipe in her cookbook: Practical Paleo.

Beef, Avocado, Shallot & Lime Wraps

1 Handful of Cilantro
1 lime
Butter Lettuce

1 lb of ground beef
1 Sliced Avocado
1 shallot, chopped

– Wash the Butter Lettuce and pull in apart leaves.  Use one leaf for each wrap.  Set aside.

-Brown ground beef, add salt and pepper to season.

-Prepare your toppings.  Slice the Avocado, Chop the Shallot and Cilantro.  Slice the lime in half.

– Lay out the lettuce leaves and top with ground beef, avocado, shallots, cilantro and squeeze the lime over the top.

I found that I still have quite a few snow peas in my fridge, so I thought a Snow pea recipe might come in handy!  And since this week we are going to be getting 3 separate heads of lettuce, I’ll be making a few salads!

Snow Pea & Carrot Salad with Miso-Tamari Dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red or yellow miso
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
8 cups torn red or butter lettuce
2 cups trimmed and halved snow peas
2 medium carrots, shredded

– Whisk oil, miso, vinegar, tamari (or soy sauce) and ginger in a large bowl until well combined. Add lettuce, snow peas and carrots; toss to coat.

TIPS & NOTES: Tip: Miso is fermented soybean paste; aged for up to 3 years, miso is salty, but a little goes a long way. Look for it in the refrigerated section of natural-foods stores or well-stocked supermarkets near the tofu. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Add to soups and sauces for an extra hit of rich flavor. Recipe & Photo Courtesy: Eating Well.com

I hope all of you Dad’s had a great Father’s Day!  I know many of you came out to enjoy the farm this last weekend!  What a great event!  Thank you to all of you who came out and helped support us, while having some fun picking berries, eating BBQ and drinking some Brews!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Until next week!

Farmer Stacy :)

 

Strawberry Season is Almost Over!

We had such a great turnout for last weekend’s Berries, Brews & BBQ’s!  The weather was amazing and it was so great to see so many people out enjoying the farm!  If you happened to miss this great festival, there is still one weekend left to enjoy the fun!!

Fresh out of the fields this week are our Strawberries, Shell Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, Butter Lettuce, Basil, & Spinach.

I found some great tips for Freezing Strawberries off of simplebites.net!

Whole Strawberries

Bags of whole, frozen strawberries are handy to have around for adding to smoothies or baking. This method of freezing on a tray or sheet ensures the berries freeze individually, rather than in an inconvenient brick.

They can be frozen without adding sugar, at a higher risk of getting freezer burn, so it is best to use them up within six months if they are indeed sugar free. Otherwise, a light dusting of sugar before freezing will both help preserve their color and prevent freezer burn.

HOW TO FREEZE WHOLE STRAWBERRIES

  1. Wash and gently dry the strawberries. Don’t soak them long in water as this will result in a loss of flavor and nutrients!
  2. Hull the berries.
  3. Place the strawberries on a baking sheet, not touching one another, and freeze until solid.
  4. Transfer the strawberries to plastic resealable bags or airtight containers and store in the freezer for up to six months.

I also found some yummy recipes to try this week!

A new kind of lettuce that we are growing this year is butter lettuce!  It has great flavor and holds up really well when used for lettuce wraps!

Spinach Basil Pesto 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, well-washed and stemmed
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 garlic cloves
¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil {depends on preference}
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes {totally optional}
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

 

Directions

Toss the spinach, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan, red crushed pepper and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse, slowly adding oil until the mixture is nice and smooth.  Recipe & Photo courtesy of onehundreddollarsamonth.com.

Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps  

For the chunk of meat:
2-3 lbs of pork shoulder – Liberally salt and pepper and if you’re feeling really crazy throw in 3-4 smashed whole garlic cloves.  If you don’t feel crazy, just sprinkle on some garlic powder.

For the sauce
Mix all of the following:
4 TBS Coconut Aminos/Soy Sauce
2 TBS Almond Butter or Peanut Butter
1 TBS Honey
2 TBS Vinegar
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 TBS Sriracha
1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
1 TBS minced ginger

1 cup of mixed Peas

Butter Lettuce

Recipe Steps
1.  Put prepared chunk of meat in crockpot
2.  Pour sauce over it
3.  Resist the urge to add more liquid
4.  Set and forget  (for 4-6 hours on low setting)

When it is done cooking shred with a fork and serve atop your favorite lettuce and add the garnish of your choice. You could do any toppings you want — chopped mixed peas, peanuts, jicama, cilantro, shredded carrots.  Enjoy!

Spinach & Peas

Ingredients

Coarse salt
1 pound (about 1 cup) English peas, shelled
1 pound baby spinach, trimmed and well washed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

Prepare an ice water bath; set aside. Line a baking sheet with a cooling rack; set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the peas. Cook until bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice water bath to stop the peas from cooking. Drain, shaking off excess liquid; set aside. Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook, just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain, squeezing out excess moisture, and transfer to wire rack to dry.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in peas, and cook 1 minute. Add the spinach, tossing to combine, and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Enjoy all of our tasty treats out of the garden this week!  Until next week!  :) Farmer Stacy

 

Summer Fruits & Veggies Have Arrived!

Hello all!  Farmer Stacy here!

I can’t believe it!  June is already here!  And with June comes all of our great Fruits and Veggies!  We had a pleasant surprise this year, and started picking our Strawberries early!  Two weeks early in fact!  In years past we have barely had enough coming out of the fields to fill up our first week’s CSA bags.  But this year is definitely going to be different!  The sun has been shining a whole lot more this Spring and all of our customers, like you have been loving it!!

We are getting ready this week for our 4th Annual Berries, Brews, & BBQ’s!   Join us for our the two things that Dad loves, BBQ & Brew!  Bring the whole family out to enjoy a fun family friendly festival featuring: U-pick Strawberries, Hay/Wagon Rides, Slides & much more!  Free Admission and Parking! Come visit this weekend for some tasty treats and some farm fun!!

 

This year I have decided to include a Storage Tip of the Week for our CSA members!

Storage Tip of the Week: Snap & Snow Peas

Preparing to Eat, Cook or Freeze~
Pinch off the ends and pull to remove the strings along the seams of the pods before eating or freezing. The fresh peas can now be eaten raw, stir-fried, steamed, stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two weeks or frozen.
Freezing~
The peas must be blanched before storing in the freezer. To blanch, add 4 quarts of water to a pot and bring to a boil. While water is heating, prepare the pods as instructed in previous paragraph. Add 2 to 3 cups of pea pods to the boiling water and cover. Time for exactly 2 minutes and remove promptly from heat. Drain off water and place the pea pods immediately in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Remove from bowl and dry pea pods on paper towels. Place snow peas or sugar snap peas into freezer bags or containers, seal, label and store in freezer. Information courtesy of: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/

I have also found some tasty recipes to try for a salad, entree & even a dessert!  I can tell you that the torte recipe is to DIE FOR good!

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Serves: 8 to 10

Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan and line with Parchment Paper.

Ingredients:
1 lb. unsalted butter (4 sticks)
1 cup coffee (already brewed)
1 cup sugar
1 lb. quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped in pieces
8 whole eggs

Fresh Strawberries for garnish


Directions:
Combine butter, coffee and sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Be sure to whisk and melt the butter. Turn off the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it is incorporated into the mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, aggressively whisking after each one until the batter is smooth. Pour into greased and lined 10-inch cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 300ºF.

Cut into pieces and serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. You can also create a vanilla sauce by melting a high-quality vanilla ice cream. This is a great compliment to the cake.

To Store: Cover and refrigerate for up to one week.

Simple Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Prep time:  Cook time:  Total time:   Serves: 4
Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded flat
6-8 ounces of button mushrooms, roughly chopped
5 strips of bacon
4-5 cups fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butterfly your chicken. I’m not totally sure how to butterfly a chicken breast but I cut mine in half, then placed plastic wrap on top of the chicken and pounded it until it was flat. Do that, it works.
Then place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the five strips of bacon and cook on both sides until crispy, then place bacon on a paper towel to soak up the excess fat. When cooled, dice up the bacon.
Pour out the excess fat from the bacon, leaving behind about 3 tablespoons in the pan.
While the pan is still over medium-high, toss in the garlic cloves then add diced mushrooms.
Sprinkle in a bit of salt and pepper on the mushrooms.
Once mushrooms have begun to soften, add the spinach and a bit more salt and pepper.
Cover and let steam until spinach has begun to wilt. When the spinach has wilted, remove the pan from heat and add in diced bacon. Mix with mushrooms and spinach until well combined.
Place mixture into the middle of your butterflied chicken, fold chicken over to make a little “pocket” and use a two toothpicks to keep it closed while cooking.
Place stuffed chicken breasts on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in oven to bake for 18-20 minutes or until there is no longer pink in the chicken. The time will range depending on how thin you pound the chicken. It may take a bit longer.
Love moist chicken. Don’t overcook it, don’t you do it!   Recipe & Photo Courtesy of PaleOMG.com.

STRAWBERRY & SUGAR SNAP PEA SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sugar snap peas
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

DIRECTIONS:

Bring a pot of water to boil and place a steamer insert in the pot. Place peas in steamer, cover, and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water until peas are cool; set aside.
Whisk olive oil, raspberry vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a bowl until well blended. Allow vinegar dressing to rest for a few minutes.
Combine sugar snap peas and strawberry slices in a large bowl. Pour dressing over pea mixture, gently tossing to combine. Serve immediately or chill for up to 1 hour.  Recipe & Photo Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

I am definitely trying the salad recipe this week!  It looks super tasty!  I hope you all enjoy this amazing weather and hopefully we’ll see you out at Berries, Brews, & BBQ’s this weekend or next!

Until Next Week!

Farmer Stacy :)